He gave an oration. She spoke out. Heriskedall for the Amer- ican Revolution, the first spy to hang. She nursed the gruesomely battle-wounded in impossible situations. He discovered oxygen. She rescued
colonists. He wrote a pointed poem. Her
novel unveiled slavery’s horrors.
When I was in school, we read these tid-bits in our history texts. What he decreed.
Where she went.
Put simply, we read a short paragraph or
column about what people did. We got the
quick news clip. The sound byte. The concise data about what happened.
But then, our culture pretends there’s
nothing greater than itself. Thus, education
can be only chopped-up factoids for the
cerebrum, not vision for the heart.
However, after home educating three sons
and a daughter for 25 years, I found that my
guys, especially, had a deep hunger. They
didn’t want their “education” to be merely
knowing what others did. Instead, they wan-
ted to learn how to become someone who does.
Wow! Think of it! Every day, we have the
awesome privilege of feeding that God-given ache—that pull, that drive in our children to become.
It’s one of the strongest forces in our
homes. Yet, I was slow in seeing that not
only should I be addressing it in our home
education, but should be harnessing that
yearning as a driving force in our hourly
and yearly progress.
Why had I begun home educating with
only a top-down impetus? Ack, without
thinking, I was duplicating what I’d had as
a student, where an institutional teacher
couldn’t possibly engineer her classroom
plans to strategically develop the separate
“yearns” of 25 children, the forces which
could otherwise have propelled her students’ drive to become.
We are without those constraints at
home! Indeed, God has actually authorized
us to prayerfully design savvy, agile plans
for our children and teens, to launch and
lead their callings. Then, the kids can
become—not just later, but starting now, in
their everyday lives—persons who do great
things in present and future history, to the
benefit of their families, churches, communities, and nations. They are already—
daily—in the process of becoming history-makers, as called by the Initiator of History
who chooses to work through us.
That’s when our homeschool’s superficial track halted. I realized that history
wasn’t just memorizing brief summaries
of the final outcomes of other people’s
deeds. We no longer needed be like skipping rocks, hurriedly skimming across the
top of history, getting quick data downloads on the final end of each story. Oh,
what freedom, richness, and joy when we
By Michelle Howard Miller
Don’t we want more for our kids than we had in school, the
(forgettable) knowledge of skipping across the surface of history?